You would think by this age I would have figured it out. That I would have known what happens, and why it is so important to remember it.
But I didn’t.
and it overtook me, again.
Self care is hard for anyone, I know that. We all forget it, but how can one demand time for themselves when there isn’t enough time for all the other basic things.
Time for work. Time for family. Time for Feeding. For sleeping. For washing for goodness sake.
Not even time for washing.
And its not like the time I am spending doing things is actually all that well spent either. It is multi tasked time. Scattered thoughts, and scattered actions. It is the top 10% of things that need to be done, never dipping to deeper items, the more difficult thoughts and tasks.
But the time goes, and at the end of each day, there is no time left for me. It is falling asleep as I try to read a page or two of my book. It is dozing off while putting the kids to bed, often before they fall asleep. It is waking early, wanting to enjoy a moment of peace in the moment waking the animals, only to have a 6 year old “helper”
It is BEGGING your children to please be quiet, to stop all the noise so you can just think for ONE MOMENT.
It is not being patient, nor kind. Not being fun, or interesting, or anything that anyone needs, expect for the very little bits you can scavenge of yourself.
And then, it is knowing it. It is realizing that you have forgotten. It is getting sick. Exhausted. Stressed.
And then it is stopping.
And it is resting. And it is remembering.
It reminding yourself that with rest, comes patience. With peace of mind, comes the ability to listen to their stories. With nourishment comes energy. With self care, comes the ability to parent again.
Yes, I should know by now. I am middle age, I have more than a decade of this pattern under my belt.
I should know.
But I don’t.
There will NEVER be enough time for all of it. I will never have enough hours to listen to all the stories, or witness all the turns, or push the swing enough. I will never bake enough cookies, or make enough healthy meals (that they will eat) or have enough spontaneous moments to create those impactful, lasting memories that will so define them in the future.
There will never be enough.
So this has to be enough.
I have to be enough.
Even though I forget the laundry, and go to bed early. Even though I love my job, sometimes too much. Even though I am not perfect, and I never will be. It has to be enough for me to be able to make room for myself.
Because, I think at the end of it all, when my girls are grown and mothers themselves, and my son is bouncing a baby on his knee, and a proud father, they will also understand that there is never enough.
But that even with all that we give, and all that we can’t, we sometime give what is needed.
As long as we remember to give to ourselves as well. And that what I gave was the very best of myself.
But now I need some back.
(This post originally ran on 3 Chickens and a Boat)